As I emerge from hibernation following spring break and return to school, I have to admit that I’m still not entirely awake.
I walk the halls slightly dazed, and I’m handing in the assignments I did over break on autopilot.
After the Easter long weekend, it’s straight through to summer and the end of the school year. If that’s the case, why do I feel like I’m coasting?
The long stretch between April and June isn’t actually as long as it seems. Recently, a friend told me that there are only 13 weeks left of school. It doesn’t seem like much when it’s put into numbers.
The issue is that those 13 weeks are basically an entire term’s worth of work. There’s a pervasive sense of procrastination wafting through school. How to get out of the doldrums?
If this daze continues, grades could plummet. June could hit my friends and I like a brick wall.
I don’t want to be sanctimonious. I am certainly no great advocate for sitting and doing four hours of homework, but it’s third term. Get into gear.
It’s the home stretch, the bottom of the ninth. Last term is the moment of truth for students, especially those of us in Grade 12. It’s not that we don’t care about third term, it’s just that with no real breaks between now and June, 13 weeks will feel an eternity for many of us.
This strange doe-eyed floating approach to school can’t last, because I need to keep my grades up for university.
So I’m in for the long haul. Discipline is key. I mean, when bears come out of hibernation, they don’t just wander about staring off into space (do they?), so why should I?
If bears can focus, I can, too.
There, I now feel sufficiently motivated. Motivation and discipline go hand in hand, so defeating the annual third-term slump means finding sources of motivation that work on an individual level.
I am a very competitive person, so setting goals with my assignments, and comparing myself to bears usually works for me.
However, I realize that competition isn’t for everyone, so here are some other ways to find motivation to engage in these last few months of school:
1. Try using your school planner more effectively. If you’re artistic, go wild. Highlight different classes with different colours, or even start a bullet journal. Having an interesting, fun planner might make you more likely to actually read your planner and stay on track in classes.
2. Do fun things at the end of the week. Make Friday movie night, so that while you’re working during the week, you have something to look forward to that isn’t the summer (which is still 13 weeks away).
3. Count the days. Some people may find that counting down the days may make it harder to bear the wait for summer, but in fact it may slow down time. Right now 13 weeks sounds like it’ll be over in a flash, but when I was in eighth grade looking forward to my high school career, four years sounded like a long time. Every year I end up standing at my locker, packing up my things, and I wonder how the year could have gone that fast.
4. Create a time budget. Map out your time between work, friends, and school. A 40-hour work week might have sounded nice over spring break for that extra chunk of change, but 40 hours is a lot of time that could be dedicated to schoolwork, or relaxation. Taking a breather now and then is very important. Find a balance that works for you.
Whatever your methods, get out of the slump. We’re all in for the long haul. It’s only 13 weeks– 91 sleeps.
It’s spring. Awaken. The birds are out, the flowers are blooming, and even though it’s pouring rain, I’m praying it won’t be as cold.
Oh, by the way, I saw a bear wandering my neighbourhood, newly emerged from hibernation, staring off into space. I’m winning the competition.
Marlowe Evans is a senior student at Thomas Haney and head delegate of the Model UN
Delegation who writes about youth issues.